Phillip Carson's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: A Comic Book Blog Reviews: 66
9.0Avg. Review Rating

9.5
Action Comics (2011) #0

Sep 6, 2012

Overall, this was a fun issue that filled some gaps and laid the groundwork, albeit retroactively, for some of the stuff I'm really loving in the main book. It's these great little side stories that I'll probably miss most when Morrison leaves. He just GETS Superman in a way so few writers do these days.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

A lot's been made about this "return" to the 1938 Superman. But beyond mere power levels and arrogant attitudes, the thing I think is most reminiscent of the Golden Age here is the tone of the story. It's that return to the wish-fulfillment aspect of the character. That sense trying to make the REAL world a better place by fighting things we face in real life. Big business, crooked politics or simple street crime, the appeal of the original Superman was that, no matter what size the "bully", the biggest, toughest guy in the whole world was actually on OUR side. And we get that here.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Action Comics (2011) #2

Oct 5, 2011

The one thing that bummed me out about the first issue was the lack of extra material, which I've come to expect from Morrison books. But here we got eight whole pages of sketches and interviews even showing stuff from future issues. This was one great comic!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Action Comics (2011) #3

Nov 3, 2011

But despite those few quibbles, I'm really loving Action Comics, and am breaking my neck to get to the comic store when it opens so that I can read this book as soon as possible.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Action Comics (2011) #4

Dec 7, 2011

The only thing that really bugs me about this issue is the last page, which informs us that we've got to wait 3 months to see what happens next. The upcoming issues featuring the Legion should be fun as hell, but I hate being kept waiting like this. But at least we're not expected to wait all that time with nothing else being published.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #5

Jan 5, 2012

This is everything I want comics to be, especially Superman comics. Old fused with new, far out concepts and secret languages. I feel like a kid again, and am foaming at the mouth for the next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #6

Feb 8, 2012

Overall, just like last month, this was the kind of Superman issue I live for. Big concepts, crazy twists, a Superman who never gives up and always thinks of a way out of his problems, and just uses his muscles to enact his strategy. Top drawer!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #7

Mar 9, 2012

Overall, this might be my favorite issue of the run so far. It has all the grand epic-ness of the past few issues, but tempered with a lot of down to Earth moments. And as always, Superman comes off looking great, refusing to take shots from either General Lane or the Collector. Worth the wait.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #8

Apr 7, 2012

Overall, this was a fun last issue to this arc. I would have preferred the story not been interrupted, and thus a few months late, but what can you do? Now that the origin is out of the way, I really hope Morrison will open the doors and go crazy with the comic from now on.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #9

May 3, 2012

What are your thoughts?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #10

Jun 6, 2012

That carries over into the back-up by Sholly Fisch, as the pair, along with Perry White and other reporters, eulogize Clark at a local bar. The emotion is very real, and I genuinely felt sorrow for everyone. This whole issue was filled with a grounding element the series desperately needed, spending time building up the relationships between the characters, while still giving us a fun and exciting adventure story.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Action Comics (2011) #11

Jul 5, 2012

Overall, this was such a fun comic. I love getting a lot for my money, and while some single issues of other books feel like you are only reading five pages worth of story spread out over 20, this issue felt a half dozen comics crammed into one.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Action Comics (2011) #12

Aug 2, 2012

Again, the ending with Clark's landlady managed to keep me excited for the next issue. But then I realized next month is the line-wide Zero issue, so we'll have to wait even longer to see this all play out. Why does it feel like every time we build a little momentum with this series, there's an interlude issue that trips everything up?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #13

Oct 4, 2012

Only a couple of months left. Better enjoy them while they lasst.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Action Comics (2011) #14

Nov 7, 2012

Overall this was still a pretty solid issue, even if it was heavy on action and light on plot. And I loved Chris Sprouse's artwork on the backup. I've been a huge fan of his since SUPREME and TOM STRONG, and wish he could work up a Superman run of his own.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Action Comics (2011) #15

Dec 7, 2012

Overall, this issue managed to cram a lot of material into 20 short pages. That's something I still love about Morrison. At a time when page space is at a premium in a $4 book, he still manages to cover more ground than any other writer working today in comics. I find myself wishing, though, that this book had come out earlier in the run, as issue 13, perhaps, finishing off Mrs. Nyxly's tale and setting up what is to come. For example, issue 14 was much more enjoyable after reading this one, as we've now got a clearer picture of the Multitude and what Superman meant when he said he'd been waiting for the fight on Mars.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Action Comics (2011) #16

Jan 14, 2013

Well, we're almost at the finish line here. Just one more issue to go. Hopefully Morrison has come up with a really clever ending to his run, and next issue isn't just another long fight scene with Superman coming out on top on the last page. I hope he manages to surprise us, and tie everything from his run together into an awesome whole.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.9
Action Comics (2011) #17

Feb 22, 2013

Well, it looks like we've still got one more issue to go before we see how this all winds up. I'm glad Morrison managed to tie up all the loose ends here, which leaves the next issue free for fighting and magic and what-have-you.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Action Comics (2011) #18

Mar 26, 2013

In the end, I'm sad to see Morrison go, but I think he said what he came here to say. He added a ton of new characters and concepts to the mythology, leaving me begging for a return from Adam Blake's Wanderers and the Anti-Superman Army (even though a lot of them died"). He retold Superman's origin in a way it hadn't been done before, finding a way to reflect Superman's real life journey from "socialist strongman" to "transcendent alien messiah" and all stops in between. He had Superman face his own darker nature and showed us how to do likewise.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Aquaman (2011) #15

Jan 9, 2013

Combining that with the Atlanteans' sudden and devastating assault, and the fact that old man Vulko was able to coldcock Superman with one punch, it looks like Geoff Johns is not only trying to elevate Atlantis to the status of world superpower, but also give the League a threat that might be over their heads.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Aquaman (2011) #16

Feb 1, 2013

Very excited for next month's conclusion.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Batman: The Return #1

Nov 24, 2010

All in all, this was a solid bridge between these two eras of Batman, with the focus perhaps being a little too much on the future, and not enough cleaning up the past. This was essentially Batman Inc. #0. But hey, who can argue with Bruce being back, and being portrayed as an international bad-ass and head of his own anti-criminal organization, who is always one step ahead of the villains?

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Captain America (2012) #1

Nov 23, 2012

Overall, this has the potential to be a fun "crazy" story for Cap. But a part of me can't wait for him to get back to the real world and start interacting with Sharon and SHIELD.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Detective Comics (2011) #1

Sep 9, 2011

I'll admit the cliffhanger ending was pretty shocking, and really makes me wonder where the story is going from here. But I don't know if that'll be enough to distiguish this title from the other 18 or so Batman books that are coming out this month. There's lots of classic stuff here, especially for a first issue. Batman in the cave with Alfred, on the rooftop with Gordon, being chased by helicopters, fighting the Joker etc. It's all there, but I just can't help but think we've seen it all done better elsewhere.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Detective Comics (2011) #2

Oct 6, 2011

We're two issues in and I'm still not sure what this story is all about. Dollmaker has just now made his debut, and while he's done stuff (well, the same thing twice, like I said) I'm still not sure why he's doing this and what it's all about. Now, I'm willing to wait and see where this is going, but I'm starting to fear this storyline is just going to be Batman running around punching people, along with SAW or Hostile-type gross-out effects for spice.

View Issue       View Full Review
8
Earth 2 #0

Sep 9, 2012

Overall, this was an enjoyable if somewhat standard tale. The real point here is the "introduction" of Terry Sloan, who I fully expect to turn into the main bad guy, or at least one of the "bosses.”

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Earth 2 #1

May 3, 2012

If nothing else, this series is a chance, like the old Elseworlds used to say, for us to see these familiar as yesterday characters made as fresh as tomorrow.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Earth 2 #2

Jun 13, 2012

I love that Earth-2 is a world that still has scars, both literal and figurative.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Earth 2 #3

Jul 6, 2012

So far, so good with this book. Robinson and Nicola Scott have delivered every issue. This is quickly turning into the book I most look forward to every month.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Earth 2 #4

Aug 3, 2012

Top shelf! I wish the mainstream JL book was this coherent, dynamic and character focused.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Flash (2010) #12

May 11, 2011

Overall, this story didn't reveal much about Flashpoint that we didn't already know. It's coming. And Zoom is responsible. That's about it.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Flash (2011) #1

Oct 13, 2011

Overall this was a solid first issue, showing none of the forced awkwardness we've been getting from other artists who think they can write. It was classic superhero fun with some varied characterization and glorious artwork. The only thing I'm concerned with is Manapul's ability to keep on a monthly schedule. The last Flash book was hilariously famous for being late (the fastest hero gets the slowest book). And really I like this book too much so far for it to be burdened with delays.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Flashpoint #1

May 12, 2011

Overall, Flashpoint is shaping up to be a fun story, devoid of the angst and info-dump that was Blackest Night. It's good to see the Flash take point as the lead in an Event book. Here's hoping he gains his powers back pretty quick, and starts kicking butt next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Flashpoint #3

Jul 6, 2011

All-in-all, this was a much better issue that last months. I was willing to forgive last month's set-ups just for story's sake, but now I find that we might have missed a big chunk of story anyway. But thankfully, a lot of ground was covered in this one, and given that this issue marks the crossing of the half-way point, I'm hoping some really huge stuff goes down in the next two issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Flashpoint #4

Aug 5, 2011

As always, the art and character designs are great. They have really been the only saving grace in the long, ponderous story. I just wish Kubert had something more interesting to draw than four issues of people standing around, talking about getting ready to maybe do something. If they felt like it. And if Batman agreed.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Flashpoint #5

Sep 7, 2011

Flashpoint is over and the world starts again. Brave New World and all that. Now let's go see what it has to offer, shall we?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #1

Jun 22, 2011

The title of the book does not disappoint. Unlike some of the other mini's, which seem to be more about telling What If stories set in the Flashpoint world, this book actually deal directly with the events of the main series, and promises to have an impact on it as well.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.9
Green Arrow (2011) #17

Feb 6, 2013

Overall Lemire and company introduce a compelling scenario to the Green Arrow mythos, especially the New 52 version. Using the classic trope of "The Fall" we get to see a spoiled and entitled Ollie lose everything on his path to becoming a hero, made all the more interesting by the fact that he is already a superhero at the start of the story. So one can only assume this quest will make him a better one, or at least bring him in line with the more familiar take on the Emerald Archer.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Green Arrow (2011) #18

Mar 8, 2013

There is a lot of talk in this issue about wasted potential, specifically Oliver's. Despite the fact that Ollie is an established superhero, it's alluded to several times that he is not quite at the level he should be, and that he has a greater destiny he's unaware of. This is probably all going to tie into The Island and Komodo. After all, we see that Ollie's dad taught him how to use a bow and arrow as a child, and that his father was somehow involved in what's going on with Komodo and Magus. Perhaps Ollie was supposed to be the next in line for Komodo's position in their secret society or something. I mean, obviously, Ollie is going to take down Komodo one day, that's got to be what this is all leading to. Green Arrow's whole story, from what I've seen, in the New 52 has been about him trying to be on Justice League-level, but never quite getting there. I have a feeling that by the time this story is over, Green Arrow will have reached the status he's looking for.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Iron Man (2012) #2

Nov 24, 2012

This issue does everything you need it to. It moves the plot along, is self-contained, has great art, clever fights and leaves me wanting more. Couldn't be more pleased.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Iron Man (2012) #3

Dec 7, 2012

Still, I just can't say enough good things about this book. Keep up the good work.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Iron Man (2012) #4

Dec 13, 2012

Without a doubt, this is my favorite book I'm reading. Even with the hefty $4 price tag, I'm thrilled this title comes out every other week.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Iron Man (2012) #5

Jan 5, 2013

I was hoping for a slightly more explosive finale to this arc, but instead this felt more like setup for the next storyline, which is a shame. But if, however, the themes from this arc carry over into the next, I will rescind my complaint. Hopefully Gillen is building up something epic here that can't be expressed in five short issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League (2011) #0

Sep 19, 2012

I'm a little annoyed that now, after multiple issues of Billy being a punk, we are now looking forward to multiple issues of Billy being a punk with superpowers. Again, I'm sure that once Black Adam shows up, he'll straighten out and hero-up. Now we play the waiting game.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Justice League (2011) #7

Mar 21, 2012

Overall, this was a solid comic book, even if it was only almost entirely set-up for later stuff. The artists did a good job, and Johns kept his annoying writing tendencies to a minimum, even if he did give us a WTF take on Billy Batson. But I'm reserving judgment on that until I see this play out more.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League (2011) #8

Apr 24, 2012

Overall, this was a pretty decent filler issue. Unlike last month, we got to get inside the Justice League a little more, to see how they operate and what limitations they have to work with. Green Arrow fans might take offense at him being so easily dismissed by the group, but I still maintain that they will see the light one day and let him in, and that this is just the start of that story.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Justice League (2011) #9

May 19, 2012

Overall, this whole issue kind of falls flat. Superheroes do some stuff, feel bad for themselves, and the villain plans his next move. Both stories are really going to need to kick it into high-gear next issue. Reading comics should be fun, not a chore.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.9
Justice League (2011) #10

Jun 29, 2012

The Shazam feature, again, mainly focuses on the domestic doings of Billy Batson's new family. The inclusion of both Freddy Freeman and Tawny the tiger helps make this feel more like a Shazam origin story. Black Adam's escape on the last page promises some kind of action next issue, although I have to ask, is every member of the Shazam Family going to be wearing hoodies from now on?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Justice League (2011) #11

Jul 19, 2012

Now that I think I've got the blueprint for John's story, I'm interested in rereading the earlier issues through this filter, and see if I like them any better. I'll let you know next month.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League (2011) #12

Aug 30, 2012

Well, the first year is over. On the whole, I'm enjoying this book more than I was at the start of this arc. Hopefully the characters will continue to show growth into their more classic, re: Heroic, selves. The previews for next year's stories have me jazzed, as does the announcement of a Justice League OF AMERICA book, featuring the likes of J'Onn, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and Catwoman. It seems like DC is trying to copy Marvel's success with their franchise of AVENGERS books, which I hope really does pan out.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League (2011) #13

Oct 18, 2012

Tony Daniel's art was pretty sweet. I haven't been reading his books for a long time, so I haven't really looked at it since BATMAN RIP. Massive difference. And yet, here it is suitably epic. The character's and the settings look vast and grand. It almost makes me want him to stay on this book a little longer. The only thing holding that up in my mind is the advance of Ivan Reis, and the fact that Daniel is moving to ACTION COMICS.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League (2011) #14

Nov 23, 2012

The idea that the Seven Sins will show up in this series as actual personalities and not just vague monstrous cartoon characters is an awesome one. But I'm still waiting for Billy to do SOMETHING in this story. And hell, I get that the notion of kid suddenly transformed into a superman is ripe for comedic moments. So" let's have some of those, maybe? If he can't fight anybody and insists on lazing about town, can those moments at least be funny, or move the plot forward in some way?

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Justice League (2011) #15

Jan 9, 2013

The Shazam backup features, um, more of Billy and Freddy being goofy with superpowers. Until the last page, when Black Adam FIIINALLLLY shows up. Looks like things will get serious next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Justice League (2011) #16

Jan 25, 2013

This book has always been good, and it just keeps getting better.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Justice League (2011) #17

Feb 20, 2013

No SHAZAM! back-up this month, but that's okay. JUSTICE LEAGUE is dangerously close to becoming one of the best books DC is putting out. The awkward early issues are becoming easier to forget as the character dynamics solidify and the stakes get higher and higher, while the personal issues get deeper and deeper. The one important thing this issue shows? This book really sings whenthey stop trying to copy THE AVENGERS and just let the Justice League be" the Justice League.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Justice League of America (2013) #1

Feb 20, 2013

And while there's no proving this, I almost get the sense that this is the JL book Geoff Johns wanted to write all along. His main JL series has been pretty cookie-cutter in terms of format. And yet this issue just feels slicker, more polished. It's like he HAD to write that series to set the status quo and NOW he gets to blow it all up with this series. There's a lot of potential here, but only time will tell.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Moon Girl #1

Dec 22, 2011

MOON GIRL delves heavily into issues of identity, politics and sociology. But never do you feel like you are reading from a text book or someone's personal manifesto. At no time are you never NOT reading a comic book about superheroes. The deep themes simply ensure this book about more than just costumed fist-fights. But never fear, those are still in there.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #1

Apr 14, 2012

Welcome back, old friend!

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #2

Apr 24, 2012

Overall, I'm very pleased with how the comic is going along. No Superman this issue, but there was a lot of character-work done, which really is the most important thing at this stage. I'm still liking this more than most of the New-52 Superman family books. Kudos.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #3

Apr 28, 2012

But overall this was a fun chance to see our main characters interact. The constant reshuffling of the same few characters is running its course though, and hopefully we'll get some big scenes that involve more than two people in the coming weeks.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #4

May 19, 2012

Henshaw's reveal was spoiled a while back thanks to the solicitations, but it looks as if he is "this season's" main villain story arc. I had kind of hoped that honor would go to Lex as we rebuilt his character. However, it is nice to have a bad guy Superman can punch eventually. I do wonder though, how many fans are more familiar with Henshaw from Geoff Johns' GREEN LANTERN comics than from Superman.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #5

Jun 6, 2012

My current guess as to the identity of the "alien" is this: It is Henshaw from the future. The explosion surrounding the ship looked not unlike the Rift from chapter one. Perhaps Henshaw falls through into some other world where he is transformed into a cyborg, and then is sent back. When he says, "This is a job for Superman," he might even be talking about himself.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #6

Jun 6, 2012

And it looks like we're going to get another classic trope next chapter, the one where Superman and Lex have a tense conversation, hopefully set in Lex's office, with Superman hovering outside the window. Another favorite.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Smallville Season 11 #7

Jun 20, 2012

Again, Miller brings us back to the John Byrne era, and the confrontation between Lex and Supes felt like something straight out of those books. With Superman storming into Lex's office, only for Luthor to have an ace up his sleeve. Beautiful. Can't wait for next week.

View Issue       View Full Review
9
Smallville Season 11 #8

Jun 29, 2012

The only problem I had was Clark asking Lois how the General knew he was Superman. Where was that question even coming from? If it ties into their last conversation on the show, why bring it up now? There was nothing about General Lane targeting Clark to get at Superman. Clark didn't factor in here at all. A better question might have been "Your Dad doesn't know I'm Superman, right? Just making sure."

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Soulfire Vol. 2 #9

Dec 17, 2010

Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed this single issue. I have very little doubt that reading the rest of the story would only enhance my appreciation of this one. If nothing else, now I have a good reason to cruise the back-issue bins at my local comic store.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for the Week of...

More